A century-old family-run independent printing business in Merthyr has invested in new state-of-the-art equipment with a seven-figure funding boost from Lloyds Bank.
Stephens and George’s magazines and sports programmes will now be printed on newly-launched machinery, manufactured by Heidelberg, which is the most efficient and technologically-advanced on the market, purchased thanks to the £4.2 million hire purchase facility. As well as improving the quality of its output, the new printing press will reduce paper wastage.
The business prints magazines for a host of publishers, such as William Reed and Haymarket, as well as producing match-day programmes for rugby clubs including Cardiff Blues and Scarlets, and a number of Premier League football clubs. As fans begin to return to stadiums later this year, the new investment will leave the business well-positioned to meet the increase in demand for match-day memorabilia.
The fourth-generation family-owned business, founded in 1912, remains one of the largest independent printing presses in Wales, with a turnover of £30million in 2019 and currently employing more than 150 people in the area.
Andrew Jones, managing director at Stephens & George, said:
“We are proud of our tradition and long heritage, but committed to making sure we are constantly evolving. The new printing press we have installed is the best and most efficient around and will help to modernise our services. It is an important investment that will stand us in good stead for the future.”
Stephens and George also benefitted from support from Lloyds Bank during the coronavirus outbreak, receiving a loan as part of the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS).
Andrew Jones added:
“Lloyds Bank has been by our side throughout the past twelve months, supporting us during this difficult period. We’re confident the next twelve months will bring more positivity and are looking forward to working with the team as we look towards long-term growth.”
Paul Williams, relationship director for South Wales at Lloyds Bank, said:
“Stephens and George has been a leading player in the industry for some time and is an excellent example of a successful business that has retained the values it was founded upon. It’s fantastic to be helping them with this investment as they look to write the next chapter of their success story.
“Like all businesses, they have been affected by the recent uncertainty, but they have shown fantastic resilience and are now well-positioned to begin looking to the future. We will remain by the side of Stephens and George and other businesses in the region in the years ahead.”